Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Under Fire"

    "The chairman of the board of Citizens Property Insurance came under fire from a Senate Committee Wednesday over everything from the conduct and political giving of the board's lawyer to the fees the company charges homeowners to finance its shortfall." "Insurers testify under Senate scrutiny". See also "Senators examine Citizens' faults" ("As another hurricane bears down, problems from ethics to financial exposure to rates are hashed out") and "Angry lawmakers pledge to scrutinize state insurer".

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board:
    While customers were paying higher and higher premiums, some of the people running Citizens allegedly were profiting from it. Last month, Chief Operating Officer R. Paul Hulsebusch resigned after a lawsuit accused him of taking kickbacks from insurers. Two Citizens financial officers quit after the St. Petersburg Times reported that they had opened a private insurance business but had been allowed to stay at Citizens as consultants.

    Then, The Miami Herald reported problems with the outside counsel for Citizens. Michael Colodny's firm has represented start-up insurers that want to do business with Citizens. Private firms can ask Citizens for "takeout" business, meaning that the firm takes over a certain number of policies. Because the state wants fewer people in Citizens, those firms get a bonus and save on start-up costs.

    Mr. Colodny and his partner, the Herald noted, have steered lots of campaign contributions to Republicans, among them Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who regulates insurers and appoints the board members who oversee Citizens. The new board chairman told Mr. Colodny that he could stay on only if his firm stopped representing insurers seeking Citizens business.
    "Citizens works on ethics, but that's just the start".

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